incredibly sexy he had looked—had her heart beating faster.
Which she didn’t understand at all. For God’s sake, ten years had passed since she’d last seen him.
But she couldn’t deny the reaction, not even now as she found her skin feeling flush. The undeniable truth was that her body still reacted to his.
She remembered the jolt she’d felt when she had walked back outside with the drinks for Nigel and Kwame, and seeing that he had taken his shirt off. There had been the raw, female reaction to his strong male physique.
But what haunted her, even now, was that scar on his chest. It was the kind of scar that spoke to either a serious health issue, or a violent trauma.
“Stop doing this,” Callie told herself. “Stop thinking about Nigel.”
But as she got up and started to walk out of the park, she heard a voice in her head say, Easier said than done.
* * *
Kwame’s eyes lit up when he saw his mother enter the front door. He was in the living room, holding the controller for the Wii game, but promptly dropped it and rushed toward her. He gave her a big hug, mindful not to hurt her injured arm.
Callie would never tire of his reaction to her. People told her that as he got older, he wouldn’t want to lavish her with affection because he would be more conscious of his male image. But knowing Kwame’s sweet demeanor, she couldn’t imagine that day coming.
And if it did, all the more reason to enjoy her son’s loving attention now.
“How’ve you been, sweetie?” she asked, running a hand over his head. She had been gone about an hour and a half. “Your aunts treating you well?”
“They’re awesome!” Kwame exclaimed. “We’ve been playing ever since you left.”
“Aah,” Callie said, understanding. She threw a look at Deanna, who shrugged sheepishly. Well, she could hardly be unhappy with her sisters for spending time with Kwame, even if they were playing video games.
They had nine years to make up for.
“Auntie Deanna loves being Snake,” Kwame went on.
Again, Deanna shrugged. “I have no clue what I’m doing. I’m just pressing buttons on a remote. And speaking of which, it’s your turn.” She passed the remote to Natalie, who looked as confused as Callie felt every time she played Super Smash Bros. with her son.
“I’ll leave you to it,” Callie said.
“If you want to play,” Natalie said, “feel free.”
Callie exchanged a knowing look with her sister, one that said Not a chance. It wasn’t that she wouldn’t or couldn’t play. It was that this particular game she understood as well as she understood the Russian language.
So Callie escaped upstairs, where she took her arm out of the sling and tried to move it. It still hurt, but not as badly as it did last week. But she simply couldn’t move her arm the way she liked, and knew it was too soon to push it. She hated being restricted, and hoped she wouldn’t need the sling that much longer.
Callie was surprised when she heard the door open, and even more surprised when she saw Kwame standing at the door.
“Hey,” Callie said, smiling. “I thought you were playing the Wii game with your aunts.”
“I wanted to check on you,” Kwame said, and Callie could see the hint of worry in his eyes. “Are you okay?”
“Yes.” Callie opened her good arm to her son. “I’m fine, sweetheart. What about you?”
Callie hadn’t had a real chance to talk to him since their return from his father’s. So she took his hand and led him to the bed, where they both sat.
“Did you have a good day, son?” Callie asked, trailing her fingers over his forehead. “Meeting your father, I mean?”
The boy’s smile was instantaneous. “I had a great day.”
“And you have no questions for me? Nothing else you want to know? About anything.” She assumed he would still have questions for her later, even perhaps be angry with her once he got over this initial phase of excitement about learning that his
Jane Austen, Vivien Jones, Tony Tanner